I have wondered if readers have had thoughts of what angle I come from, in regards to the criminal sphere. My first interests in crime were sparked by a book I bought just after leaving school, way back in 1976. This book was "The Profession of Violence" about the Krays. Then I started taking a greater interest in newspaper reports about crime and getting true crime books from the local library in Ellesmere Port - my hometown. Then, over the years, In have built up a large library of true crime, though nothing to rival what Jeremy Beadle had. Could I take the knowledge I was accumulating to greater things? No, I could not, because I never gained the qualifications needed to get into higher education. There you go, my lack of education obviously shows to some people. Years later, I moved to Bradford, which, quite frankly, has a much better crime base than E.P. But before I moved, I did get onto some criminology courses, gaining some credits.
The courses were quite interesting, and did get known for my opinions. I did a presentation on serial killer Carl Panzram, executed at Leavenworth in 1930. One woman covered the A6 murder and asked for any opinions. I certainly gave mine. Suppression of damaging statements, tampering with vital evidence. Read the definitive book by Bob Woffinden and you will see what I mean. The defence relied on despicable law abiding members of the public, whilst the prosecution relied on criminals & informers, all paragons of truth and honesty. After a couple of minutes, I told her I`ll shut up. The tutor asked me what I thought about his guilt. My response was simple "Fitted up all the way to the gallows!" One guy, Jason, taught problem kids, and was a brilliant presenter, and I have always tried to remember some of his presenting skills.
Since moving to Bradford and started blogging a few years back, I have made contacts all over the world. I did try to see if I could get onto Criminology at the Uni as a mature student but as ever, qualifications let me down. The Uni official I initially dealt with, was shown all the work I had done and thought I would have been a great foil for a tutor. It does not matter if you know a subject, you need the grades. Authors have told me that I do not need any PhD, I should just concentrate on what I am doing. No, I cannot write long, fancy theories, and I do not use words like "verbose" or "procrastination" I just put things simply. There is one thing that I have learned and that theories or explanations are not written in stone. Plus, people going into Criminology can learn a great deal about real life by living in Canterbury, Holmwood or West Bowling. I have worked these areas and know what it is really like. David Wilson, Professor at Birmingham Uni, has a simple approach, not liked by Police or newspapers, because he does not a "Criminal Minds" mindset; that everything is textbook. He does not write long winded psychobabble like Dick Hobbs. I once "read" a book by him and most of it went over my head - oh dear, what a thick bastard I am, again belying my "lack" of education - but, over time, things change in all walks of life. If I was asked why certain people on these estates do not work, I would put it simply; "lazy bastards who do not want to get out of bed and earn a living, the world owes them everything, and if they are not given it, then they have the right to go out and thieve it. Plus, they should be allowed to go out and cause whatever mayhem they want." Not a theory that would be accepted but then again, that is the difference between theory and actually being amongst it. Where I live, there has been murders, drug deaths, shootings, burglaries, car thefts, benefit fraud(quite a bit), marriage scamsters, extreme violence, including women being tortured, incidents many young budding criminologists at University would have no experience of.
When I give an opinion, that is simply what it is. Everybody has an opinion, a take on a situation. Anybody who says they do not is an out and out liar. Are opinions wrong? well, somebody in a crime magazine offered the opinion that Oscar Pistorius was guilty of murder. Will this person be reminded of the verdict? Not a chance! There you go, dear readers, a little bit about myself. Ciao!